iPhone 5 has attracted millions of consumers worldwide and there is no sign of stopping. In fact, Apple is pushing to improve the product not only on the software side (remember the Apple Maps?) but even on the hardware presentation. Recently, Apple has ordered Foxconn to improve the quality of the device so that it will come out of the box blemish and scratch-free.
However, the recent order of Apple to improve the quality of the device has pushed Foxconn’s factory workers to the limit. The latest order from Foxconn to its employees is to aim for the 0.02mm appearance problem – which is very stringent in factory standards considering thousands of devices go through quality inspection.
In reaction to the recent orders, Foxconn’s factory workers in Zhengzhou went on strike. Their claim is that the appearance problem target is too difficult beyond the visual capacity of the factory worker to find the defect in an instant. Pressure eventually took its toll on the workers and they went on strike – and some more. Confrontations between the workers and inspectors have led to physical alteration that led to injuries and hospitalization on both sides.
Aside from the added pressure to improve its quality inspection of each iPhone 5 to the strictest standards, workers at the plant are also feeling pushed to work to ridiculous amount. They also feel they were denied of a proper vacation since from October 1st to October 8th are national holidays. The combination of pressure of quality and additional work hours has taken its toll to the workers as well as quality inspectors.
This is not the first time that clashes between two groups of workers of Foxconn caused stoppage of work. Just last September, reports of more than 2,000 workers in Taiyuan plant went on riot in reaction to the event leading to security guards roughing up another worker. The riot happened in the early hours of the morning where workers are pushed to work overtime that one worker claimed that these overtime hours are almost a requirement.
Foxconn is one of the largest electronic parts manufacturers in the world. Although their headquarters is in Taiwan, the company has production lines in Malaysia, Brazil, India, Japan, Mexico, China as well as Europe. Aside from Apple products (iPad, iPhone and iPod), Foxconn is also a known manufacturer for the parts used in Sony’s PlayStation 3, Amazon’s Kindle and even Microsoft’s Xbox 360.